Monday, November 26, 2012

"Click like and share if you..."

Taking a story from the news that is older than the expired yogurt at the back of your refrigerator, rewriting it with an over the top headline, and then passing it off as a new story is not journalism. To me, that is just as bad as Fox News. It is propaganda posing as news, for the sake of making money off an audience of unquestioning sheep. It is all about creating a sense of required and uninformed outrage over something that may or may not be something to be outraged about.

This isn't asking people what their opinion is on a topic for the sake of a greater discussion. This is telling people what to think and to then take the same little piece of "information" back to the hive to be spread on and on, for maximum profit and exposure.

There's a reason people write for small internet blogs like this one or websites that pretend to be news channels. Hint, often it isn't usually because they're talented writers who want to change the world or champion a political cause as some sort of independent torch carrier. Many of them (myself included) either could never cut it as real writer for any actual news site or media channel, or they're people who just want to vent. Some of the best blogs are the ones who do it for fun or self therapy, because they aren't trying to write for a large audience where they make money based of quantity, not quality.

Now if you want to call yourself a journalist, I expect that you'd be someone who'd report on a real story that you came across. Perhaps one that's still fresh and preferably you would actually interview people who were involved. Now let's say an oil well blows in Texas and you score 10 minutes with the well owner and get a scoop, that's journalism. If you find a problem in your community, investigate it and then report factually on it, that's journalism.

However, if you just take someone else's story and rehash it from your parent's basement in Michigan for a web site like or, that's not journalism. It's not journalism when you peddle it on multiple social media sites as some kind of breaking news when it's older than that crusty sock under your bed that your mom found next to your worn out copy of Hustler. It's not journalism when your primary reference is Wikipedia and you're just rewriting someone else's work with a new headline for maximum page traffic and a paycheck. Even if you're doing it for a "good cause", that's still not an excuse.

Do I get paid for writing these blogs? Yeah, I do. I get paid for page traffic by Google but these are my opinions, not something being passed off as facts or news items. I do not call myself a "journalist". Not now, not ever. Being a journalist, being a reporter, that requires finding original stories to cover. That's my two cents.


  1. I'm clicking "Like" and sharing. Because I agree.

  2. Or you could just be some bitter douchebag with nothing better to do.